Fruity Flavours – Growing Fruit in Pots
What could be tastier than delicious juicy fruit picked straight from your garden? Squire’s Garden Centres has seen a big increase in the number of people wanting to grow fruit at home this year, with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants all being popular choices.
As well as the great taste, growing your own fruit also has many environmental benefits – you know where your food has come from, there’s no need to visit the supermarket, no plastic packaging and you’ll be eating seasonal produce with zero fruit miles!
Why pots are perfect
Most fruit can be grown in pots, so very little space is needed to give you delicious fruit and berries all summer long. Growing fruit in containers also means that you can control the growing conditions, positioning the plant to give it optimal sun or shade. Most fruit trees like free draining soil, so planting in a pot ensures that they’ll have plenty of drainage. And in winter you can move delicate plants out of the cold and away from frost, perhaps putting them into a greenhouse or garage.
What to grow?
Berry bushes grow very successfully in pots, so they are ideal for small gardens and patios. Try:
- Blueberries – They are acid-loving plants so need an ericaceous compost. Keep them well-watered as they are thirsty plants. They need sun and some shade. The fruit is delicious and high in antioxidants. Try Blueberry ‘Little Blue Wonder’. £14.99 for a 5L pot.
- Strawberries – Brilliant for first-time gardeners as they are so easy to grow. There are lots of varieties to choose from to give you juicy fruit all summer long. They like plenty of water and will thrive in a multi-purpose compost. Try Strawberry ‘Summer Breeze Rose’. £4.99 for a 1L pot.
- Blackcurrant – Easy to grow, they like a rich John Innes compost, and will reward you with berries in mid-summer that are rich in Vitamin C. Try Blackcurrant ‘Black Marble’ or ‘Noiroma’. £14.99 for a 5L pot.
- Raspberries – Raspberry plants will give you fruit from mid-summer through to autumn. For best results plant in a sunny position in well drained soil. If you don’t nibble them all straight away, they freeze well, and make wonderful jam, sauces and tarts. Try Raspberry ‘Groovy or ‘Ruby Beauty’. £14.99 for a 5L pot.
- Blackberry – Grow in a sunny position, although they can tolerate some shade. Will produce berries from mid-summer onwards, perfect in crumbles, jams and jellies. Try Blackberry ‘Tiny Black’. £14.99 for a 5L pot.
How to Grow Your Own Juicy Berries
Follow these simple tips and your soft fruit will thrive in a pot.
- Prepare your pots
For bush fruits like blueberry and blackcurrant, use a pot slightly larger than the roots. Strawberries can be grown in pots, window boxes or hanging baskets, and a large pot or trough is ideal for raspberries. All containers need drainage holes.
- Choose a compost
Choose peat-free or reduced-peat compost where you can to support the environment. Blackcurrants and raspberries like a rich John Innes compost, while strawberries will thrive is a multi-purpose compost. Blueberries are acid-loving plants, so they need an ericaceous compost.
- Water and feed
Growing fruit in pots is great as it means that you can control the amount of water that they need. Give plants a good soak when you plant them into pots. Water daily in hot weather and make sure the soil never dries out. Use pot saucers to help keep the compost moist. Feed once a week in summer with a liquid tomato feed, such as Tomorite.
- Protect your fruit
Birds love summer fruit too! Protect your plants with a layer of fine netting, secured tightly to avoid birds being trapped inside.
- Enjoy your harvest
Harvest your fruit when it feels soft and ripe, and comes away from the plant easily.